Yea it is Chocolate Monday again! It is remarkable how much we all love chocolate and don’t seem to get tired of it. If you are thinking about trying gluten-free baking and are nervous, this is a perfect recipe for a first try. There are many good gluten-free flour blends available in stores all over the country, but if you have recently been diagnosed with either Celiac or gluten-intolerance or will be regularly baking for someone with gluten sensitivities, the easiest and least expensive option is to mix up a gluten-free version of all-purpose flour and use that in place of regular flour in your favorite recipes. And if you are one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to worry about gluten, this recipe works just as well with regular flour. Win-Win!!
I use Silvana Nardone’s gluten-free flour blend from “Cooking for Isaiah” for virtually all of my baking projects. Today’s recipe is one of her favorites from the book and I love it. Rich and packed with chocolate flavor, I would proudly put these cookies up against any I have made with regular flour in the past!
I first met Silvana at the annual IACP conference in a presentation on regular and gluten-free bread baking. At the time I didn’t pay much attention to the gluten-free recipes, but when they passed around the mini corn muffins that Silvana had baked for us, I couldn’t stop eating them. I even got up and went to the back of the room where I could sneak extras! I couldn’t believe that anything that delicious could be gluten-free.
Silvana is a delightful, confident, compassionate, loving mother who took her experience as a cookbook author, food editor for Food & Wine and Every Day with Rachael Ray, and bakery owner to relearn how to bake, accommodating her son’s dietary restrictions. Isaiah is allergic to both gluten and dairy products, so she had to completely start from scratch. Her story of what she did to make Isaiah feel “normal” is heartwarming.
She didn’t want him to have to give up any of his favorite foods and she wanted to heal Isaiah with foods that wouldn’t hurt him. As a mother she knew she needed to be able to get breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table quickly and easily without cooking separate meals for different family members. She wanted to create foods that were just as delicious and great to look at as their gluten-full counterparts.
After reworking all of her family’s favorites, she expanded her repertoire and eventually wrote her cookbook in honor of her son. You can make any recipe from this book, serve it to your family and friends without telling them it is gluten-free and they won’t know the difference. It is a remarkable feat of ingenuity, skill and patience.
Silvana covers the whole spectrum of recipes, from appetizers through breakfast, salads, soups, rice and pasta, sandwiches and pizza, main dishes, sides, baked goods, and of course desserts. There is certainly something for everyone.
If you are gluten-intolerant, have celiac, or are cooking and baking for people with sensitivities, I would highly recommend you buy “Cooking for Isaiah”. I would recommend you make up a large batch of the blend, store it in an airtight container with a tight lid, and make sure you shake it well before each use. Some of the gluten-free flours have a tendency to clump a bit and with the xanthan gum included in the mix, you want to be sure everything is well blended and evenly distributed before measuring it out.
Today’s cookies are always popular and would be a nice addition to your Easter sweets. They would complement any coconut desserts you may be planning on serving.
Have a wonderful week and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
The original recipe made just enough cookies to tease me so I doubled it for you. If you don’t want to make the whole batch at once, chill the dough about 20 minutes to firm it up, roll it into a log and wrap tightly with parchment paper. Notate the required oven temperature and baking time on the parchment and then wrap the log with plastic wrap. Freeze logs of dough up to 3 months. When ready to bake, slice dough into disks (no need to thaw first) and bake about 12 to 15 minutes or until done.
Silvana’s gluten-free AP flour can be substituted in any recipe that calls for all-purpose flour. When measuring it, you can either weigh it or use measuring cups. If weighing, use 120 grams of the gf blend for each cup of flour in the recipe. If using measuring cups, scoop and level it and then remove 1 tbsp from each cup and you will be just about at 120 grams. Weighing gluten-free flours is always more accurate and will likely give you more consistent results
Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)
Slightly modified From Silvana Nardone’s “Cooking for Isaiah”
Yield: about 2-1/2 dozen, 2-inch cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder * (gluten-free if needed)
1 tsp baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or all-vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (about 66%)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until totally incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula, making sure there are no unincorporated ingredients in the bottom. Stir in the chopped chocolate.
Using a 1-1/2 inch scoop or a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough 1 to 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
Bake in preheated oven, spinning the trays front to back and switching them top to bottom, until just slightly firm when you gently press the top, 10 to 12 minutes (my oven took about 14 minutes). Let cool for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet. Using a spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool.
* Replace cocoa powder with 6 tbsp additional flour if you want regular chocolate chip cookies
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